Any independent musician in this day and age knows how important social media is. Love it or hate it, the apps are the best way to get your name out there and your talent noticed. It is no surprise that TikTok has taken the world by storm with its massive user base, intelligent algorithm, and insane discoverability. From mainstream artists to emerging indie musicians, TikTok showcases music like never before.
However, TikTok raises a unique issue for creators in that the algorithm favors creating a LOT of content. Consistency is a key factor in getting noticed on this monster app. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have time to carefully edit multiple videos a week. As musicians, we often crave a certain level of production and source quality.
How can we create an efficient workflow that is simple, fast, easily replicated, mobile, and still high quality? Enter the TASCAM Portacapture X6. These low-profile mobile recorders are the perfect solution to capturing high-quality audio with minimal setup, in remote locations, and with a fast workflow.
Let’s Talk Setup
I chose to use the TASCAM Portacapture X6 for this project and also chose to only use only the built in mics. The idea was to make the setup as simple as possible. This post is not a deep dive into everything the Portacapture series can do. In fact, I will not even scratch the surface of all the other incredible applications it has. My specific focus was on making setup and use as fast and painless as possible. I carried a camera tripod with an attached phone mount so I could simply unfold my tripod, attach the TASCAM and my phone, and hit record!
The Portacapture can act as a USB interface (which is especially great for using the built in XLR jacks), but I chose to record to the microSD slot. Being able to record to an SD card means you can take this recording setup with you anywhere. No need for cables or a laptop!
The TASCAM Portacapture X6 features multiple music apps with specific user interfaces catered toward their given applications. For the purpose of this project, I used the “music” app which is a great tool for capturing live performances. I used the “vocal” preset and locked in some slight room reverb. This just added a touch of ambience, nothing too crazy.
It is also worth noting that I am NOT an influencer and my TikTok just exists to make these videos! With that being said, I have made a few TikToks that showcase just how easy it is to use the Portacapture X6 in the wild and in a common and replicable application. I also made a short “explainer” video showing the unit and “A-B”-ing of the Tascam Audio vs. raw iPhone audio. These videos feature my voice and a guitar (Martin 000-15M) outdoors for a little extra ambient noise.
Peep the ‘Toks
Here are a few examples of me singing on my back porch:
All of these videos were recorded on my iPhone camera. Here is a video showing some comparison of the audio straight from the phone vs. the TASCAM Audio. Notice the increase in quality with the TASCAM! There was no additional audio editing done after recording, just syncing with video.
Some Final Thoughts
The increase in fidelity that the Portacapture X6 offers, combined with how easy it is to use make it a fantastic quality-of-life upgrade. On top of that, Tascam’s 96 kHz/32-bit float recording technology gives you a ton of headroom on your gain levels, meaning you can record pretty much as loudly or quietly as you want and have tons of wiggle room in post. If you were to put in a little more time with audio editing, you could really make these recordings shine. Anyone looking to improve their social media game without breaking the bank or adding a ton of extra production time needs to look into the Tascam Portacapture series. It may just be the stress relief you are looking for!
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